Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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scott36854 02-20-2012 08:17 PM

extra lighting
newbie here. a friend of mine got me interested in getting an aquarium and having live plants. so i ran out and bout a 37 marineland kit that came with leds. no one told me about this not being enough for a planted tank. is there any external light that i could attach to the tank to help with he lighting? i have a window about 6 ft away and the tank could get indirect sunlight from it. will this help or hurt?

Boredomb 02-20-2012 08:42 PM

Do you have plants in the tank right now? Some Leds will grow plants (not sure about spec for LEDs just know you can grow plants with them). Also depends on the plants you are trying to grow. Sunlight can cause problems for a tank that is not established (I believe). Can you change the fixture out for another type? Or is it a built-in type?

scott36854 02-20-2012 08:44 PM

unfortunately it is a built in type. i do have plants in it now and they look fine, however my setup is only 2 weeks old.

Boredomb 02-20-2012 09:22 PM

Do you know the names if these plants?

beetlebz 02-20-2012 09:35 PM

low lighting levels might limit your options, but you can still create a gorgeous aquascape with low light plants. I would think even if they were a higher k rating than what most of us here use for plants, they would still work, if not quite as well. I have 8000 or 9000k t8s over my 55g, and the plants grow slower, but still grow just fine.

You could have a gorgeous setup with anubias, cryptocoryne, java moss, java fern, hornwort, water sprite, duckweed, anacharis, I could go on and on. Its worth a try, in my opinion.

even if you just got some floating water sprite. I have C. Cornuta floating in my 55g and its doing just fine :)

scott36854 02-26-2012 06:03 PM

my plants aren't looking too good. i really want to replace that led hood with one that is made for plants. i am not really sure where or what to get. i think i need to buy a glass top and then a separate light??? i have a penguin filter on the back of the tank. can i cut the top out to fit around the filter?

any suggestions on where to get the top and light?

beetlebz 02-26-2012 06:31 PM

On a glass canopy, the back couple inches is a removable plastic strip. You can cut it around heater wires, airline tubing, and filters, with a razor knife.

If you decided to go that route, you could just get a single strip light. They run round abouts 36 bucks for a 30" single T8 strip light. Its not going to be BRIGHT, only a 24" deep tank, but better than the LEDs Id imagine. I would actually build my own, if I were you, if you had any mechanical inclination, as screw in CFLs are far easier to come by :) Not to mention, dual T8 strip lights only come in 36" length. You could upgrade big though, and get a single or dual T5, or a compact fluorescent fixture, but they will be up over 100 bucks usually.

For the sake of accessories, any accessory made for a 20 gallon LONG, or a 29 gallon tank, will also fit yours. Yours is just a little deeper.

scott36854 02-26-2012 06:42 PM

please keep in mind that i am really new at this. .so i am clueless as to what i need. i dont want a sophisticated tank, but i would like to be able to grow plants, or at least keep them alive. is there a simple light fixture i can buy that will be adequate for my tank?

Byron 02-28-2012 10:38 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by scott36854 (Post 994917)
please keep in mind that i am really new at this. .so i am clueless as to what i need. i dont want a sophisticated tank, but i would like to be able to grow plants, or at least keep them alive. is there a simple light fixture i can buy that will be adequate for my tank?

Yes. I have a single T8 24-inch tube over my 29g and the plants are fine. Photo attached illustrates. These are low and moderate light plants, and I always have floating plants, so all these do well under this light.

Petsmart here carries single strip fluorescent T8 fixtures. The tubes that come with them will be junk, mine go straight into the recycling. Price the fixtures and the complete hoods, they have both for a standard 29g (30-inch) tank, you might get a better deal with the full hood.

As for tubes, hardware and home improvement stores carry less expensive tubes that work well. GE, Phillips and Sylvania all make "daylight" type tubes with a Kelvin around 6500K and these work very well. They probably come in 24-inch length, and in T8 (the "basic" fluorescent).

Last, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Glad to have you with us.:-D


beetlebz 02-28-2012 04:03 PM

errr, i only want to say that I really dislike the full hoods that come with lights. I have bought over a dozen over the years, and I always go back to the glass tops. The clear plastic window on the hood kits for the light will get hazy, scratched up, and in some cases just kinda fall apart. The glass is easy, I wipe it down every few water changes to keep the algae down and im golden for a few more weeks.

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